University of Southern California
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Department of Anesthesiology

Nurse Anesthesia Program
1540 Alcazar Street
Suite 223
Los Angeles 90089-9012
(323) 442-2037
FAX: (323) 442-1701

Program Director: Michele E. Gold

Associate Program Director: Teresa Norris

Assistant Program Director of Clinical Services: Karen Embrey


Chair and Professor: Philip Lumb

Professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology: Randall Wetzel

Professors of Clinical Anesthesiology: Mary Joseph; Ronald Katz; Vladmir Zelman

Associate Professors of Clinical Anesthesiology: Jack Berger; Jeffrey Lee; Rajesh Patel; David Raphael; Earl Strum

Assistant Professors of Clinical Anesthesiology: Anoshiravan Afrasiabi; Rudolfo Amaya; Dimiter Arnaudov; Armin Azad; Maxim Benbassat; Martin Bohorquez; Kari Cole; James Daniel; Barbara Gasior; Gligor Gucev; Samuel Yanofsky

Instructors of Clinical Anesthesiology: Roberta Ashley; Deborah Avnet; James Carey; Nancy Christiano; Judy Franco; Charlotte Garcia; David Godden; Monique Jabbour; Kim Jones-Tang; Arthur Norcliffe; Nilu Patel; Lou Rauso; Ilene Richards; Heather Wilson; Jennifer Woolley; Kelly Zhou

The nurse anesthesia program prepares qualified nurses in the specialty of nurse anesthesia and qualifies the graduate to sit for the certification examination given by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists.The graduate attains a high level of clinical competence with an extensive body of didactic knowledge relevant to the specialty and advanced practice nursing. The mission of the USC Program of Nurse Anesthesia is scholarly education and professional development of future nurse anesthetists with the academic strength and leadership skills to advance our profession.

Students enrolling in the M.S., Nurse Anesthesia course of study must complete the nurse anesthesia core curriculum and specialty practicum. The program consists of 45 to 49 units and is completed in 24 months of continuous enrollment (six semesters). There is an optional one-semester clinical fellowship offered in the seventh semester of enrollment to provide specialty training in a clinical area of choice: critical care, cardiovascular, neurosurgical, ambulatory anesthesia or pain management. Students may sit for the certification examination during this semester.

The program is based in the Department of Anesthesiology, and classroom instruction is provided by nurse anesthesia program faculty and faculty from the Department of Anesthesiology and the Department of Physiology and Biophysics within the Keck School of Medicine, as well as clinical faculty from the program clinical sites. Clinical training occurs at Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Long Beach Veterans’ Administration Medical Center, West Los Angeles Veterans’ Administration Medical Center and USC University Hospital for the primary rotations. Advanced rotations occur at those sites, as well as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Hudson Comprehensive Care Center, Hallmark Pain Management and Surgery Center, and UCLA Medical Center.

Master of Science (in Nurse Anesthesia)

General requirements for admission include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate grade point average, a minimum score on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examinations of 1000, current licensure as a Registered Nurse, a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a related field from an accredited university or college, submission of an essay describing the applicant’s career goals, professional resume and three letters of reference.

Competitive applicants will be interviewed and must demonstrate an acceptable understanding of the role and responsibilities of certified registered nurse anesthetists. Selections are made on the basis of the formal interview and consideration of a variety of factors that include academic record, type and amount of clinical experience and professionalism.

Academic and Scientific Prerequisites
The admission requirements also include appropriate undergraduate course work in biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biochemistry, physics and statistics (or nursing research). A minimum of one year of experience in critical care nursing as a registered nurse is required. Licensure as an RN in California and current BCLS, ACLS and PALS certifications are required prior to enrollment. Conversational Spanish is strongly recommended.

Computer Skill Requirements
During the program, students must have a personal computer or notebook with Internet access and a PDA. The primary mode of program communication is email. Computer accounts are provided by the university to all students and can be activated online.

Prospective students should contact the program’s admission office, (323) 442-2037 or for evaluation of previous course work and clinical background.

Admission procedures follow the information in the USC Graduate School section of this catalogue. Admission standards for the USC nurse anesthesia program are established jointly by the Keck School of Medicine, the USC Graduate School and the Department of Anesthesiology. Interested students should apply online at Additional admissions requirements and the supplemental application must be obtained from the nurse anesthesia program and can be requested through email at or accessed at

Degree RequirementsUnits
Academic Courses
ANST 500Human Anatomy3
ANST 501Pharmacology of Anesthesia Practice4
ANST 502Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 4
ANST 503Advanced Pharmacology of Anesthesia Practice3
ANST 504Pathophysiology Related to Anesthesia Practice4
ANST 506Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice4
ANST 508Research: Investigative Inquiry2
ANST 510Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia3
ANST 512Research Integration: Capstone Experience1
INTD 572Systems Physiology and Disease I4

Residency Courses
ANST 505Clinical Residency in Nurse Anesthesia I3
ANST 507Clinical Residency in Nurse Anesthesia II2
ANST 509Advanced Clinical Residency in Nurse Anesthesia I3
ANST 511Advanced Clinical Residency in Nurse Anesthesia II4-8
ANST 513Advanced Clinical Residency in Nurse Anesthesia III1
Total Units45-49

Optional Course
ANST 514Specialty Fellowship2

All students will take the Self-Evaluation Examination (SEE) administered by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists at the end of the first clinical year. Student scores must be above the national mean for advancement into the research capstone experience.